Idle Barber Shop Tycoon Review: A Cut above the Rest

Developer Codigames are known for their idle games that revolve around familiar and not so familiar concepts. I mean who would have thought of an addicting idle game based on a university or a TV studio. Most of their games are more than just “idle” titles. They are proper management sim games developed exclusively for the savvy mobile gamer.

Idle Barber Shop Tycoon
The stories section is on the upper-left corner of the screen. Tap on the icons to know a character’s story

Codigames’ newest game is Idle Barber Shop Tycoon. It lets you create and manage a barbershop, has a rags-to-riches story, lots of new features and unlockables to keep you busy for hours. This new idle management sim game is a breath of fresh air from the previous titles. Games such as Idle Police Tycoon and Prison Empire Tycoon were extremely well made, but were a bit difficult to play. In fact they were serious management sim games and it would be wrong to call them “idle”. There were lots or things to manage at once, which might have been quite cumbersome for some players. That doesn’t mean they weren’t fun, I enjoyed playing them, but Idle Barber Shop Tycoon is made for the casual gamer, one who love to game on the go without paying too much attention to micromanagement.

An Idle Game with a Story

The one feature that sets it apart from other games is the story mode. Your character inherits his grandfather’s family business, starts with a single hair and beard cutting chair and aspires to become the best barber in town. But there are challenges ahead, such as the wicked businessman and the “greatest hair stylist” Simon Rapichop who wants to buy your shop at any cost. When you deny, he curses you and vows to buy your shop at the lowest rate when you go bankrupt. Your character also meets familiar faces, such as his grandpa’s friend who gives him valuable advice about services and his part-time interior decorator sister named Anna Freshcut who assists him to decorate his grandpa’s dilapidated shop. You will unlock such stories as you progress through the game. New characters and stories depend on your barbershop’s reputation. You earn rep points whenever you successfully provide services to customers. There’s also a love angle in this story, but that will be unlocked much later in this game.

Love Story
Love is in the Hair… I mean Air.

The game has some interesting employee stories. There’s a conspiracy story where Valora is seen trying to sabotage your business. You will be hiring Valora later in the game and she will help you manage your business by providing beard trimming and haircutting services to your customers, but she has some others plans. What could those be? Well, you will need to find out once you get hearts for that employee. Your employee needs hearts, which can be acquired by getting duplicate cards from the instant camera parties in the shop. You will unlock employee stories by acquiring the same employee card from instant camera parties.

Check out our Idle Barber Shop Tycoon Guide if you want to increase earnings, unlock stories and new hair/beard styles.


Like I said earlier, Idle barber Shop Tycoon’s gameplay is much simpler than Codigames’ previous titles. In the beginning, you will be providing only haircuts and beard styling, but at later stages, there will be more services available to your clients.

Customers will arrive at the shop, ask you if a haircut or beard styling is available in your shop. Service requirements and availability will be displayed in the form of callouts above the customer and the barber. The styling or haircut icons will be displayed on callouts with a green tick above the barber’s head indicting it is available. The barber will then escort the customer to the chair, provide the required hair cutting or beard trimming/styling and earn cash after completing his work. You can speed up hair cutting and trimming by tapping on the big green stamina button on the middle of the screen. Mind you, pressing this button multiple times will decrease his stamina and if the green button is empty, you won’t be able to speed up his services. Thankfully, the stamina bar refills automatically over a period of time, but if you want to refill it instantly, there’s always a stamina booster available from time to time. It appears on the right side of the screen.

Along with in-game cash, you will also earn reputation (rep) points from your customers. Reputation is denoted by purple stars. In Idle Barber Shop Tycoon, reputation plays a very important role in story progress, new characters, features, items and new hair and beard styles. You will need to reach a certain reputation value to unlock them. The purple rep bar on the top of the screen shows your current rep value and filling the bar unlocks something new, whether it’s a new story or a game feature. You will also be unlocking a new hairstyle or beard trend that will fetch more cash once you reach a new rep milestone. The game will notify you of new styles once you collect a certain number of rep points.

While reputation points play a crucial role in this game, you will heavily depend on it to unlock new chairs, services and hair/beard styles. This means you will have to continue providing services to customers to collect rep points from them. But thankfully, the game will keep earning rep points even when you are not playing.

The game lets you increase your fee/earnings for providing services by upgrading chairs. Tap on a chair and upgrade to increase service charges for hair/beard cutting and styling by a certain percentage. Keep upgrading to fill the bar and get a huge boost in earnings, percentage-wise. You will also be unlocking new sections, which will provide new ways to boost your overall income from the shop.

Unlocking new hairstyles and beard styles also lets you earn more money. A new hair or beard style fetches more fee than the older one. Once you reach a certain reputation value, a new style is unlocked. Tap on the scissor icon to unlock it. Spend a one-time fee to unlock it permanently. Once unlocked, you will see quite a few customers arriving at your shop, asking whether that new style is available and since you have unlocked it, your character will provide the service and earn more points. You can also upgrade existing and new styles to increase income.

Offline Earnings

Idle Barber Shop Tycoon’s six-hour offline earnings limit is a huge improvement from the previous games. In previous titles created by the same developer, offline earnings were limited to only 2 hours, i.e. a player will keep earning idle income for only two hours when he is not playing the game. This has been increased to 6 hours in this game. Now you can gain income + reputation points even when you are not playing this game for 6 hours.

Offline Income

Idle Barber Shop Tycoon is another great game by Codigames. With the inclusion of stories, it tries something different and does not fail to deliver an excellent story-based idle game. However, one has to see what happens once all characters and their stories are unlocked as rep points is pretty easy to earn since you keep collecting them even when you are offline. Will there be new stories, new characters, or some expansions? I am sure there will be exciting new events coming soon, but what’s next? Will wait and see.  

Last Updated on June 15, 2021 by Jude

Leave a Comment